This is and Outsiders fic, although it might be confusing.

Our three main characters are Darry, Soda, and Ponyboy, but they are horses, not humans. They exibit the characteristics and "color" of the original characters. They are rescued and taken in by Ann Hathaway, a 35 year old mom, whose love of horses makes her respond to a rescue radio call about a horrific trailer accident. To tell more, would be giving away the story. This story is similar to the book Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards, because that was my inspiriation.

To understand this story, you have to read the prolouge. The prolouge to told through Darry's eyes, but he will not be referred to as Darry, because he is not named yet. He will be referred to as he and the stallion.

Happy reading!

Range-bred

Chapter 1: Prolouge

It was dark. The trailer underneath his feet swayed as a ship in a seastorm. The air around him was stuffy, the other horses much too close for comfort. Al least there were'nt any horses on top of him, some others in this metal Hell weren't so lucky. But it was important that he was able to stay on his feet, that he could stay his ground.

His main concen was for his mother. He had kept a vigil over her since they had been seperated from his father. How long ago it was, he could not tell. Maybe weeks. But he took his fathers place and kept an eye on his mother and younger brother.

His mother was obviously in pain. There was something wrong with her, but he couldn't tell what. It was a miracle that he could see her at all, but the sunlight shone through small holes in the double-decker trailer. Of course, the sun made the heat in the trailer nearly unbearable at the same time. Horses around him were being to fall.

He turned his attention back to his mother. The palomino mare was drentched in a sweat, and pawing the ground with her hoof feebly. He sensed that she wanted to pace, to move, but she couldn't in these close quarters. He nickered encouragment to her, hoping to calm her bewildered mind with his voice.

It did no good. The mare snorted, her eyes wild and glazed at the same time. She had little energy left, but her son refused to believe it. He was here, and he wouldn't let her fall. Neither would he let his yearling brother, a young buckskin colt, fall. The yearling was standing beside him, leaning onto his shoulder. He still had strength, but the trip was begining to wear on him too.

The stallion watched his mother, as her whinnies grew more and more pain-filled. He realized, in horror that she was slipping away. His nickers became desperate, urget.

No! he called out against her. Don't go!

I can't the mare groaned back. She lurched on her feet, and nearly colasped to the floor. She stubbled towards him, her giant stomach swinging with her. She pressed her face up against his. She wanted to give up, to die, but she couldn't yet. She had to see one more to the world.

The stallion nuzzled her face. He felt better when she relaxed. He had no idea what was happening, but he started when the mare lurched again, and fell to the floor. She whinned weakly to him, and he paid no attention what was happening with her. He only wanted her back on her feet.

He lowered his head to hers and pushed at it, hoping to get a response. She raised her head and whickered softly. He threw back his head in agony.

No! he screamed at her. Get up! Don't leave me! Don't leave us!

The mare looked up at her two sons terrifed eyes, and shurred as the last contraction ripped through her. Feeling that it was all over, she made one last movement, a sharp twist and a snap was heard. She relaxed, thankful that her job was over. She looked up at the young stallion and whickered on last time.

Watch over them, she rasped. Both of them. Then, with a final sigh, she lay completely still.

The stallions eyes widened in fear. He nipped at his mothers mane, gently at first, then hard, with deperation. He whinned shirly, not daring to believe the truth. He watched her, hoping for a sign of movement. When he saw none, he lifted his head and closed his eyes, letting lose a bellow that shook those around him. The buckskin colt started in fear, but he didn't seem to notice. He shoved at the palomino's body, but it didn't budge. He closed his eyes and took in a shaken breath. But then, he noticed something else.

Behind the mare, was a tiny light bay foal. The foal faltered, swinging his legs around. It squealed, unable to get to it's feet.

The stallion was bewlidered by the foal. But as it squealed it fear, something in his mother's last wish flickered in the stallion. He stepped over the mare and nudged the foal. It's fearful eyes turned to him, and the stallion stared back. The foal's eyes were dark and soft.

The stallion waited only a second. His mothers words were echoing in his head. Watch over them both. Both of them. Not just the buckskin, but this new foal as well.

Hardly thinking about what he was doing, the stallion stepped over the mares body and stood protectivly over the foal. The buckskin colt followed, keeping his self pressed against his older brother.

The foal relaxed, feeling protected with the larger stallion over , ahim. The stallion relaxed too. He blocked out his feelings of pain and sorrow. With his two brothers safe by his side, and stood firm, refusing to budge.

He assumed his new position.

--

The trip was horrindous. The horses swayed and stumbled, fighting for a grip on the steel surface of the trailer. But they did not speak a word. They were too weak, too deyhdrated. To them, this was a test, one that they had to pass to live. Some did, others didn't.

Unknowingly to the stallion, the newborn foal had buried it's way to it's mothers still-warm stomach, and found her small amount of milk still there. The foal took it's first meal with vigor, and slept with peace afterwards. Depsite his ordeal, he seemed to be fighting to live.

The stallion was unaware of the length of the trip, he only knew that it was taking forever. He was concered about the small foal, and he wanted the drivers to let them out. He ached for food, water, and personal space. This trailer was becoming worse by the second.

He was just begining to become desperate for change, when the trailer rocked, and in slow motion, began to flip. The sound of scraping metal echoed throughout the trailer. Horses, who only seconds before had been deprifed of movement, scearmed and kicked in terror. The stallion braced his self, refusing to move for the sake of his brothers. He waited for the trailer to come to a stop as it slid. Horses around him were falling, thrown by the force of the collision.

But the mare's body acted as a sheild, preventing other horses from falling towards the other three, even though she was still. Even in death, she was unknowingly protecing her ownspring.

There was shouting of human voices and squealing brakes as the trailer came to a stop. It felt as though it had struck something too big to budge. The stallion snorted, as the other horses around him remained motionless. He could hear others getting up and moving, but he could not see them. He lowered his head, and found the small foal, amazingly unharmed, but frozen with fear. The buckskin seemed unable to stand the shock, he lay beside his younger brother. His breathing was quick and his eyes were wide. The stallion nuzzled him for comfort, then turned to the foal. It was being to become weak with hunger. It desperatly needed food, but the stallion had none to give it.

The sound of the trailer being opened, caught his ears. He could see little, blocked by the sight of other horses, but he could hear two human voices that intrigued him. It was not the voices of his captors, who sounded rough and hatefull. Theses voices were soft and gentle. He waited, and watched, but little happened.

After what seemed like forever, he heard sirens in the distance. An ambulance and fire truck arrived, as did voluteers. A message had been sent over the radio for people willing to foster horses from the accident. Bring your trailers, and hurry.

People began unloading live horses and removing dead ones. As the foster people and their trailers arrived, papers were signed and horses were sent off. The rescue organization at the head of the corp was promising to contact owners later, to get them surrender papers and fiancial help. But for now, people rushed away to save these horses, whose trip to the slaughter house was brought to a stop when the driver of the trailer hit an eight-teen wheeler.

But the stallion was hardly aware of these things. He was hungry and tired, and ready to get into the fresh air with his brothers by his side. He moved a bit and shoved at the tiny foal. The foal attemped to stand, before falling on its face. The stallion nudged it again, many times, until it finally stood on its thin, wavering legs. It leaned against the stallion for support, sandwhiched between the stallion of the buckskin, who had scrambled to his feet when the trailer opened. The three waited, patient but desperate, surrounded by other animals, as the rescue workers worked to get through fourty horses to them.

Will this newborn foal survive? Will any of them survive?

Next chapter indroduces Ann Hathaway!

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- PM